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Old 07-27-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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should women sit on UHJ

As our beloved faith extols the breaking down of barriers will the tradition of a male UHJ ever change? Should it chamge?
 
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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I dont think so. This is a law to test peoples submission and separate the fickle from the true believers.
Women can advance in all other ways and their spiritual destinies are just as great as mens.
 
Old 07-28-2011, 04:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by aidan View Post
As our beloved faith extols the breaking down of barriers will the tradition of a male UHJ ever change?
Not for the duration of the Bahai Era (now about another 850 years), no.

Bruce
 
Old 07-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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Wait, I thought the Baha'i era was destined to last much longer than 850 years
 
Old 07-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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Wait, I thought the Baha'i era was destined to last much longer than 850 years
YOU ARE CORRECT THE NEXT PROPHET WILL NOT APPEAR UNTIL AT LEAST ANOTHER 850 YEARS
 
Old 07-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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As our beloved faith extols the breaking down of barriers will the tradition of a male UHJ ever change? Should it chamge?
No It is what has been revealed for this age - Link to further quotes -

Lights of Guidance/Women - Bahaitext, a library of books about the Bahá

Cheers Tony
 
Old 07-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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@Celerity

The Bahá'í Cycle is 500,000 years. But the Bahá'í era will last only until the next Manifestation comes.
 
Old 07-31-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidan View Post
As our beloved faith extols the breaking down of barriers will the tradition of a male UHJ ever change? Should it chamge?
I think it should change, and hope it will just as soon as the next Manifestation of God gets here to do it.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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I think it should change, and hope it will just as soon as the next Manifestation of God gets here to do it.
Do I detect a hint of sarcasm Fadl?
 
Old 08-01-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
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Welll.....

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Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
I think it should change, and hope it will just as soon as the next Manifestation of God gets here to do it.
1,000/500,000 is only .2% of the Baha'i Era, so that really is not much. Aren't we rather grandiose to expect our own agendas to be met in the large scale of things? I think that it were truly important that some things in history not happened the way they did, then it would have been changed and we would never know. Do we know how insignificant we are?
 
Old 08-01-2011, 09:24 PM   #11
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1,000/500,000 is only .2% of the Baha'i Era, so that really is not much. Aren't we rather grandiose to expect our own agendas to be met in the large scale of things? I think that it were truly important that some things in history not happened the way they did, then it would have been changed and we would never know. Do we know how insignificant we are?
Maybe, but this is just the way it is, isn't it? Even if I or anyone else thinks women should be eligible, the reality is that they are not and there is only one way possible for that to change, but that isn't going to happen soon, not in our lifetimes or even in the lifetimes of our great great great grandchildren, so it's not really worth discussing, in my opinion. I don't understand why women can't serve on this institution, but they just can't, and I accept it. What else is there?

I don't agree with you, however, that it will require 500,000 years to change or for the Baha'i era to expire! There will be many manifestations of God in the span of 500,000 years, and any of them could decree women eligible if it were God's will.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 07:04 AM   #12
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I don't agree with you, however, that it will require 500,000 years to change or for the Baha'i era to expire! There will be many manifestations of God in the span of 500,000 years, and any of them could decree women eligible if it were God's will.
I gave a fraction of the 500,000. 1000/500,000. That was the whole point of everything I said, that 1000 years is not much really.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 07:21 PM   #13
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From at least one female, I think it really is a non-issue.

I don't even see it as a lack of 'advancement' or opportunity that a woman cannot serve in that way, because serving in whatever capacity one may be called, whether it be elected or appointed (if it is an administrative role), is not something that one should strive for, in my opinion, as some kind of 'status'. God forbid.
People serving in these elected roles, are called to go about their duty in a spirit of service and humility.

There are many ways in which we can serve the Cause of God.

We could speculate all we want about the reasons, and we have been told that it will become as clear as the noon-day sun.
I recently wondered if it is because women can be too soft. he-he. The Institution of the Universal House of Justice carries necessary authority. Anyway, my speculations may be meaningless, and I agree with Lord of G that it is a test of our sincerity, our trust in God and His word, and our desire to obey Him.

For me it is a little like alcohol, although perhaps not the best comparison. I find someone smoking more off-putting than a person having a glass of wine in front of me. There are people such as my immediate family members who drink alcohol in moderation, and one could wonder why there is the injunction not to drink, for these people.

But if we want to do our best to love and obey God, we accept the laws He has given for this day, and trust that they are the best for us and for this era.

Last edited by Rani; 08-02-2011 at 11:10 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 07:31 PM   #14
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Poor example by me perhaps about the alcohol.. I was never attracted to drinking even before I'd heard about the Faith. I much preferred to feel in control of myself and not be under the influence of anything that could change my behaviour in any small way.

So, perhaps there are spiritual reasons for not drinking alcohol even in low amounts.

But in Christianity, alcohol was not strictly forbidden, however it is written in the Bible, 'Do not get drunk with wine'. So some Christians believe it is okay in moderation.
I dare say, it's a possibility it won't be strictly forbidden in a future Dispensation. - just a possibility.

My point was that, even if we don't fully understand the reasons for a decree, we are called to love, trust and obey.

Last edited by Rani; 08-02-2011 at 07:47 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rani View Post
From at least one female, I think it really is a non-issue.

I don't even see it as a lack of 'advancement' or opportunity that a woman cannot serve in that way, because serving in whatever capacity one may be called to serve, whether it be elected or appointed (if it is an administrative role), is not something that one should strive for, in my opinion, as some kind of 'status'. God forbid.
People serving in these elected roles, are called to go about their duty in a spirit of service and humility.

There are many ways in which we can serve the Cause of God.

We could speculate all we want about the reasons, and we have been told that it will become as clear as the noon-day sun.
I recently wondered if it is because women can be too soft. he-he. The Institution of the Universal House of Justice carries necessary authority. Anyway, my speculations may be meaningless, and I agree with Lord of G that it is a test of our sincerity, our trust in God and His word, and our desire to obey Him.

For me it is a little like alcohol, although perhaps not the best comparison. I find someone smoking more off-putting than a person having a glass of wine in front of me. There are people such as my immediate family members who drink alcohol in moderation, and one could wonder why there is the injunction not to drink, for these people.

But if we want to do our best to love and obey God, we accept the laws He has given for this day, and trust that they are the best for us and for this era.
Rani:THis is really good. And I am not saying that because you agreed with me.
The first part about the importance of the roles of the members of the house is what people often fail to see. It is not a 'station' as such. It is the crowing of people on the internet that often try to blow this issue out of proportion and as a result attempt to slander the faith. THanks for this post.

Cire perdue. Yes the faith is only a small fraction of the overall cycle. However be careful not to emphasise to much how small we are and undermine the importance of this revelation of God. Baha'u'llah has brought in a new cycle and this mighty revelation should not be underestimated. All the spiritual bounties are there for those who but wish to partake of them. We must be submissive though and obedient. We are just humans striving for improvement. Do not let the ego run away with us. Not directing that second bit at you just saying as a general thing.
 
Old 08-05-2011, 04:53 PM   #16
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We must obey all of the laws.

'Abdu'l-Bahá has said that the reason why women cannot serve on the Universal House of Justice will be made clear, just as the sun is at high noon.

There is always a reason to everything. Bahá'u'lláh's Divine Wisdom cannot be fathomed by anyone.
 
Old 08-05-2011, 04:54 PM   #17
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"The Word of God hath set the heart of the world afire; how regrettable if ye fail to be enkindled with its flame! Please God, ye will regard this blessed night as the night of unity, will knit your souls together, and resolve to adorn yourselves with the ornament of a goodly and praiseworthy character. Let your principal concern be to rescue the fallen from the slough of impending extinction, and to help him embrace the ancient Faith of God. Your behavior towards your neighbor should be such as to manifest clearly the signs of the one true God, for ye are the first among men to be re-created by His Spirit, the first to adore and bow the knee before Him, the first to circle round His throne of glory. I swear by Him Who hath caused Me to reveal whatever hath pleased Him! Ye are better known to the inmates of the Kingdom on high than ye are known to your own selves. Think ye these words to be vain and empty? Would that ye had the power to perceive the things your Lord, the All-Merciful, doth see—things that attest the excellence of your rank, that bear witness to the greatness of your worth, that proclaim the sublimity of your station! God grant that your desires and unmortified passions may not hinder you from that which hath been ordained for you."

From: Bahá'í Reference Library - Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Pages 316-317

Last edited by mrjapilz; 08-05-2011 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Forgot to add quotation marks
 
Old 08-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #18
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I am a bit late for the discussion, i think, but still if someone can answer my question. (i am a bit new to studying the Baha'i faith)

Are women not allowed to be members of UHJ? Or is it just coincidence that there havent been any??

LovE FoR AlL HatreD FoR NonE
 
Old 08-25-2011, 05:38 PM   #19
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The great contradiction....not

We do not know the reason why this is so, but are told it will become apparent as the noon day sun. This is one of those things that cannot be changed. There are intellectual arguments that ignore the status of the law, and of The Universal House of Justice and presume to argue that Abdul'baha did not mean it in this way, because they believe it should be changed. If this is the only objection to this Faith and all other things are acceptable, then what is the problem? More than ever I believe people who argue for these kind of changes have problems with authority figures and are projecting their own issues onto our institutions. Baha'is believe in a loving and personal God, in limits/laws that set us free, and that any "science" that begins and ends with words is futile. Words are here to provide a pathway to the spiritual realm, not to beat each other with. Knowledge is the result of faith, but faith is not the result of knowledge(GKC). The point of being a Baha'i is spiritual understanding and growth.
 
Old 08-25-2011, 05:44 PM   #20
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Gob,
I was not remarking on the size of the Faith, but the fraction of time before the next Manifestation of God. However we are small, and we grow. It is not something to hide that we are small. People think there were 1000's of Christians when Christ was crucified, but it may have been at most a few hundred, probably less. It prevailed.
 
Old 08-25-2011, 09:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
Gob,
I was not remarking on the size of the Faith, but the fraction of time before the next Manifestation of God. However we are small, and we grow. It is not something to hide that we are small. People think there were 1000's of Christians when Christ was crucified, but it may have been at most a few hundred, probably less. It prevailed.
And on this note I would like to remark:
"it is quality not quantity that matters".
 
Old 08-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #22
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to cire perdue

Quote:
We do not know the reason why this is so, but are told it will become apparent as the noon day sun. This is one of those things that cannot be changed. There are intellectual arguments that ignore the status of the law, and of The Universal House of Justice and presume to argue that Abdul'baha did not mean it in this way, because they believe it should be changed. If this is the only objection to this Faith and all other things are acceptable, then what is the problem? More than ever I believe people who argue for these kind of changes have problems with authority figures and are projecting their own issues onto our institutions. Baha'is believe in a loving and personal God, in limits/laws that set us free, and that any "science" that begins and ends with words is futile. Words are here to provide a pathway to the spiritual realm, not to beat each other with. Knowledge is the result of faith, but faith is not the result of knowledge(GKC). The point of being a Baha'i is spiritual understanding and growth.
Was this the answer to my question?
 
Old 08-26-2011, 03:43 AM   #23
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All my life I have challenged authority in whichever setting i encuntered it.That is probably the reason why I have questioned so uch in my life.I now feel that this tenancy towards questionin rather than acceptance is a negative aspec to my personality which has cause much strife and confrntation i mylife.It would probably be a blessing if I were to be more serene and accept that some others know better than me and that people are in authority for a reason and their council should be acceptedas being wiser than I
 
Old 08-26-2011, 04:26 AM   #24
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Trust

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All my life I have challenged authority in whichever setting i encuntered it.That is probably the reason why I have questioned so uch in my life.I now feel that this tenancy towards questionin rather than acceptance is a negative aspec to my personality which has cause much strife and confrntation i mylife.It would probably be a blessing if I were to be more serene and accept that some others know better than me and that people are in authority for a reason and their council should be acceptedas being wiser than I
Aidan, That is quite an admission. One may have develop trust. At one time I went around saying, "People are better than I think they are...." as an affirmation. I have made efforts and used resources to come to believe in a loving God, even though I am a Baha'i. People tend to view the world and God as no more benevolent than their parents. If one has had rough childhood, sometimes even with abuse they did not realize was abuse, then God is viewed as tricky or not so loving. We will keep repeating what we only know unless we do something to change it.

sohebbasharat, sorry that is not a direct response to you. Thank you for expressing what you felt about that. Any person who becomes a Baha'i starts where they are and may have to come to believe in things that can be tough to accept. If one can trust God first and let go, answers come at some point in life though it may be years.
 
Old 08-26-2011, 04:33 AM   #25
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CP do you still make te affirmation that people are beter than you think theyare?
 
Old 08-26-2011, 04:46 AM   #26
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CP do you still make te affirmation that people are beter than you think theyare?
Not so much, because it sunk in. I don't look in the newspaper, I go by what I experience. I can bring out good in people by interacting in them in positive ways. If I start out mistrustful and fearful what do you think I get back? In the Peace Plan it is written that the basic nature of man is good. However we know if children are not trained in virtues they are like animals. We cannot expect to fulfill our Baha'i lives by expecting love to come to us. We have an obligation to become love-able, to actively love others, to serve others. We cannot be passive if we want the benefits of faith to be in our lives. We may have to look inward and reach out to change ourselves. If one does not take action or serve, does not love God, then how can God's love reach us?
 
Old 08-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #27
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Women are not allowed

Answer: Women cannot be members of the Universal House of Justice, although women can be a member of any other elected or appointed body.

Last edited by mrjapilz; 08-26-2011 at 07:57 AM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 08-27-2011, 12:18 AM   #28
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thanks
 
Old 10-03-2011, 08:24 AM   #29
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A new thought about this

Justice St Rain in his book, FALLING INTO GRACE, that it may be that women are not on the House, because of men. Men would not accept them at this time. He said that The Guardian had to force Persian Baha'is to elect women to posts. I did not know this. JSR also points out that the WISDOM of this will become apparent, so it is not a fact that we will understand. This would mean that it is men who need the development.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 09:32 AM   #30
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More on Justice St Rain:

Interview with Author/Publisher, Justice St Rain | Bahá'í Writers

One of the perspectives I've had is that men serving on the House of Justice doesn't mean they are superior in any way to women..and if you review what the House of Justice does...it's statements and so on...there's not a hint of any male superiority. Humility and commitment maybe but not superiority.

I've also come to accept that builders and others sometimes don't always understand what an architect has in mind...

Last edited by arthra; 10-03-2011 at 09:34 AM.
 
Old 10-05-2011, 07:37 AM   #31
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"Why men are in trouble" article

Why men are in trouble - CNN.com

This is scary. It is known that boys need good fathers to become good men.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 07:58 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
Justice St Rain in his book, FALLING INTO GRACE, that it may be that women are not on the House, because of men. Men would not accept them at this time. He said that The Guardian had to force Persian Baha'is to elect women to posts. I did not know this. JSR also points out that the WISDOM of this will become apparent, so it is not a fact that we will understand. This would mean that it is men who need the development.
I would like to make a comment here, this whole subject is of little importance to me, because we are told that this is how it is to be by the Manisfestation of God, and will be explaines in a later time. But I liked what is in the quote, I feel it has merit.
God likes to test us in ways that appear to inflame the people of the time. EG. Moses was a murderer, Christ had no father etc etc, an amusing thought has often come to me, what will be the test when the next manifestation comes, maybe He will be a woman :-)
 
Old 10-26-2011, 03:51 PM   #33
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There's a tablet on this question on my blog, at
The ‘Paris Talks’ tablet on women « Sen McGlinn's blog

It's somewhat ambiguous.

The Aqdas refers to the "men of justice", using the term rijal, men. But Baha'u'llah has stated that women in His Cause are all to be accorded the same station as men - and He has used the term rijal to make this point. For example, He writes:

Today the Baha'i women (lit., the leaves of the Holy Tree) must guide the handmaidens of the earth to the Lofty Horizon with the utmost purity and sanctity. Today the handmaidens of God are regarded as gentlemen (rijal).

And :

Today whoever among the handmaidens attains the knowledge of the Desire of the World [i.e., Baha'u'llah] is considered a gentleman (rajul) in the Divine Book.

And :

...many a man (rajul) hath waited expectant for God's Revelation, and yet when the Light shone forth from the horizon of the world, all but a few turned their faces away from it. Whosoever from amongst the handmaidens hath recognized the Lord of all Names is recorded in the Book as one of those men (rijal) by the Pen of the Most High.

Likewise, 'Abdu'l-Baha in one of his Tablets has made the same point:

Verily, according to Baha'u'llah, women are judged as gentlemen (rijal).

The quotes are translated and sourced in "the Service of Women" at
The Service of Women on the Institutions of the Baha'i Faith

However there are also pilgrims' notes from Ali Kuli Khan which were apparently checked by Abdu'l-Baha and are unambiguous, that women cannot serve on the Universal House of Justice.
Unfortunately I can't locate them now, and it's bed time
 
Old 10-26-2011, 09:05 PM   #34
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Sen,

These are very interesting, and do underline the Faith's strongest commitment to the equality of men and women. As for women sitting on the House, however, there is no ambiguity whatsoever, and it doesn't matter how many of such statements like the ones you have provided are found. The Guardian, and the House of Justice have made it quite clear that the House is a body of men, and these institutions of God have the authority to make rulings to resolve ambiguity. This they have done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen McGlinn View Post
There's a tablet on this question on my blog, at
The ‘Paris Talks’ tablet on women « Sen McGlinn's blog

It's somewhat ambiguous.

The Aqdas refers to the "men of justice", using the term rijal, men. But Baha'u'llah has stated that women in His Cause are all to be accorded the same station as men - and He has used the term rijal to make this point. For example, He writes:

Today the Baha'i women (lit., the leaves of the Holy Tree) must guide the handmaidens of the earth to the Lofty Horizon with the utmost purity and sanctity. Today the handmaidens of God are regarded as gentlemen (rijal).

And :

Today whoever among the handmaidens attains the knowledge of the Desire of the World [i.e., Baha'u'llah] is considered a gentleman (rajul) in the Divine Book.

And :

...many a man (rajul) hath waited expectant for God's Revelation, and yet when the Light shone forth from the horizon of the world, all but a few turned their faces away from it. Whosoever from amongst the handmaidens hath recognized the Lord of all Names is recorded in the Book as one of those men (rijal) by the Pen of the Most High.

Likewise, 'Abdu'l-Baha in one of his Tablets has made the same point:

Verily, according to Baha'u'llah, women are judged as gentlemen (rijal).

The quotes are translated and sourced in "the Service of Women" at
The Service of Women on the Institutions of the Baha'i Faith

However there are also pilgrims' notes from Ali Kuli Khan which were apparently checked by Abdu'l-Baha and are unambiguous, that women cannot serve on the Universal House of Justice.
Unfortunately I can't locate them now, and it's bed time
 
Old 10-26-2011, 09:19 PM   #35
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I am not sure where Sen stands as to his position but such sayings as "women should be regarded as men" are obviously not literal as women are not men and men are not women. Furthermore to imply that Baha'u'llah would have made such a statement without the knowledge that taking it literally might contradict his other statements "men of the house" and Abdul'Bahas interpretation which I am sure Baha'u'llah would have had plenty time to give him in his own lifetime if he wanted, is somewhat insulting peoples intelligence if I might be allowed the expression.
We should therefore seek the inner meaning of what he could mean. I think one of the things he might means is that women will be counted equal in terms of their errudition to the men of the past who were considered to bear all authority in terms of learning, priesthood etc. Certainly at least in terms of the religion what Baha'u'llah came after (Islam).
 
Old 10-27-2011, 02:53 AM   #36
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However there are also pilgrims' notes from Ali Kuli Khan which were apparently checked by Abdu'l-Baha and are unambiguous, that women cannot serve on the Universal House of Justice.

Hmm..interesting.

There's a Tablet written by Abdul-Baha to Corinne True:

HE IS GOD!

O daughter of the Kingdom!

The epistle was received and the Convention of the delegates of the Mashrek-el-Azkar on the day of Naurooz, at Chicago; proved a cause of joy and gladness. In reality, a wonderful coincidence has taken place. In that blessed day Abdul Baha hastened to Hai fa and with the divine friends was present at the Supreme Station (The Tomb of the bab). The pure body of His Holiness, the Su preme (The Bab), after sixty years of homeless wandering and placelessness, was established on Mt. Carmel, the mountain of the Lord, in the Supreme Station, and in Chicago there was held (at the same time) the Convention of the delegates of the Mashrek-el- Azkar and and Mr. Charles Haney and Mrs. Miriam Haney arrived in Chi cago and were present in that holy meeting.

I beg of God that that radiant Assembly may become aided in pure, truthful intentions and confirmed in the service of the Kingdom, so that it may be a sample of the Assemblages of the Su preme Concourse.

The Persian philosopher has said: "That which is above has its likeness below."

As to the land, you must carry out the agreement you made with the land owner, so that it may be purchased. But payment by payment, it should be done, and, if possible, commence the build ing of the Mashrek-el-Azkar. Delay not.

In the law of God, men and women are equal in all rights save in the Universal House of Justice; for the Chairman and the members of the House of Justice are men according to the Text of the Book. Aside from this, in all the rest of the Associations, like the Convention for the building of the Mashrek-el-Azkar, the Assembly of Teaching, the Spiritual Assembly, Philanthrophic Associations Scientific Association, men and women are co-partners in all the rights.

Upon thee be Baha-el-ABHA!

(signed) Abdul Baha Abbas

Translated by

Dr. Ameen U. Fareed
Haifa, Syria, July 29, 1909.

Letter to Corinne True re Women on the House of Justice
 
Old 10-27-2011, 03:27 AM   #37
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I found the missing pilgrim's notes. They are from Ali Kuli Khan's pilgrimage in 1906, and include the following:

---
Being asked as to the sex of its membership, 'Abdu'l-Bahá answered: "The membership of the House of Justice shall be all men." Being asked if the members of the General House of Justice will be nine in number, He answered: "The membership is not limited to nine. Nay, nine is the minimum number and it will gradually be increased nine by nine. For instance, it will be raised to numbers which are multiples of the number nine, such as eighty-one which is equal to nine times nine, and so forth."
---
The complete notes are online here:
1906 Pilgrim Notes of Ali-Kuli Khan

In those notes, Ali Kuli Khan says, "...a number of Baha'i friends requested me to take notes of 'Abdu'l-Baha's conversations during our visit, in order that these might be translated and published for the benefit of the Baha'is in America. This I did, and towards the end of our visit, I copied my Persian notes and submitted the most important among them to 'Abdu'l-Baha for revision."
 
Old 10-27-2011, 01:39 PM   #38
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Thanks for supplying that Sen! I hadn't seen those notes...
 
Old 10-27-2011, 03:00 PM   #39
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A facinating read Sen that smacks of authenticity
 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:32 PM   #40
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Where is?

It is possible that it is simply a political necessity to not have men on the Supreme Body, and Justice St Rain states in his book FALLING INTO GRACE that Shoghi Effendi had to "force" the Persian Baha'is to elect women to LSA's which I may have known and forgotten, anyone know where that is? If the Supreme Body had women it might prevent entry into the Faith by many that would be too prejudiced to accept that. We cannot wait for people to be "Baha'is" before we let them in the Faith. Apparently that people will progress or not on their own is a given.
 
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